This month, Beijing has been hosting “Kan Kan” (כאן כאן)- an exhibition of Israeli artists living in China and the way they perceive local culture. Artist list includes Irit Tamari, Dvir Bar-Gal, Nir Elias, Basmat Levin, Amir Pollak, Noel Fortunee and Yair Lior.
From NYArts :
The artists participating in this exhibition are all Israeli artists currently living and creating in China (Beijing and Shanghai). The exhibition is a mosaic of different artists’ impressions and experiences generated by the new physical and spiritual landscape in which they live and from which they nurture their art. The exhibition will be held from May 1st to May 31st.
The name of the exhibition, ‘China Kan-Kan’, makes use of the double meaning the word-phonetic sound ‘Kan’ bear in Chinese and Hebrew: Kan in Chinese means ‘to see’ / ‘to look’. In Hebrew, Kan means ‘here’ – a word that acquired cultural and national purport implying being specifically in Israel, as a reference to home. ‘China Kan-Kan’ raises the questions regarding the relationship between the Israelis’ ‘here’ – which tool hold in one way or another of their way they perceive thee world – and the new ‘look’ the Chinese environment demands.
‘China Kan-Kan’ raises the questions regarding the relationship between past-[resent identities and changing new surroundings – questions that surely every ‘foreigner’ deals with when and where he becomes one, but perhaps Israelis deals with more than others, due to the Israeli/Jewish identity’s ongoing, past-present, history.
More on the artists from Beijing Today :
Transparency is central to Fortunee Noel’s work. She uses layers of acrylic painting mixed with pigments on Plexiglass – a light transparent weather resistant thermoplastic. “Dongzhimen Construction” & “Worker” are two of her representative works. “The Chinese capital has validated a lot of my work in the last three years. Beijing is being transformed before our very eyes,” Noel said. Alleyways and skyscrapers, symbols of the past and the present, the old and the new, are themes which Noel makes great use of in her art. [...]
Yair Lior is famous for large-scale human figurative painting done in Chinese ink, using both Chinese and Western painting techniques. His works deal with the concept of the individual as an iconic representation of humanity and the planet earth. [...]
Irit Tamari attempts to explore photography media by carving and inscribing photos to create a surreal world. “My main interest is using photography to expand and explore its boundaries and limitations. Living in China allows me to view daily lie from an outsider’s perspective, which ultimately is reflected in my work,” Tamari said. [...]
Dvir Bar-Gal’s Redland series are black and white photos which feature prominently the color red. This color is even titled with the name “Zhongguohong” “Red China,” or “China Red.” All the shots were taken with color film. The red objects in the pictures were so in reality-Gal said. [...]
The documentary photographs by Nir Elias reveal a rich tapestry of stories that amply reflect the changes in daily life. After working as a photo journalist in Israel where his work was essentially to cover the Israeli Palestinian conflict, Elias moved to China. In the process, there were changes both subtle and obvious. [...]
“In my current work, I am using an analogy between the rabbit that lives in his hole and the artist’s way of life,” Pollak said, “The rabbit’s role adorable and cute figure in contemporary western culture allows me to manipulate and terrorize it, while in the end he just keeps on smiling.” [...]
(Photos of the exhibition from Beijing Today and Barak Paz-Tal)